With the multitude of diets available to the masses online and in other printed materials, one would think losing weight and then keeping it off for good would be an easy thing to accomplish. It can be done, but fad diets are not the answer. The trick to maintaining your weight after losing those pounds is to live a better, healthier life.
Follow these ten rules and you will soon find yourself on the road to self-improvement without regaining that unwanted weight:
1. Set Weekly Goals
People who set small weekly weight loss goals tend to lose weight at an even pace. Those who set long-range goals have a harder time seeing results because they want to lose it all right now. It is much easier to stick to your plans when you know you only need to lose a couple pounds this week, instead of 20 in the next few weeks.
2. Think Realistically
A weight loss of 10 pounds in a week is not very realistic; one or two pounds a week is. Keep track of what you eat for a week, then use this as a guide to see where you can decrease the amount of calories you consume. Aim for decreasing your daily diet by 500 to 1,000 calories. However, never eat less than 1,200 calories a day.
Be very specific about how much weight you aim to lose each week. Keep a food journal and include this number in your journal. It also helps if you place strategic messages in your home and office to encourage you to fulfill your goals.
Take weight loss as a day to day experience. Focus on what you can achieve today. When tomorrow comes you can worry about it then. This way you stay focused on the here and now.
3. Exercise Every Day – Preferably At The Same Time Each Day
Whenever you exercise your brain releases endorphins. These chemicals give you a boost in the happiness department, as well as enable you to be more productive on the job.
If you exercise in the morning, before work or school, you feel so good after that that you are more inclined to eat healthy, and take steps through the day to continue to exercise just for sheer pleasure it brings.
If mornings are not ideal for you, that is fine. Just pick your own time, and try to exercise every day at the same time.
4. Overcoming The Inevitable Plateau
Everyone who is trying to lose weight, or gain muscle strength, will reach a point where nothing seems to be happening at all. There is no weight loss, and the muscles are not any stronger. Do not sweat the small stuff.
The trick to overcoming the plateau is to continue to work out; up your cardio intensity with more hiking, running, jump roping or different exercise routines.
It's hard to get bored with your exercising routines if you add a bit of variety to your activities. If you run, add a yoga class to slow you down and stretch your body. Alternative activities will keep you going back for more.
5. Eat A Healthy Diet
Breakfast should include plenty of fiber, complex carbs and protein. This meal is considered the most important one of the day because it fuels your mind and body for the day ahead.
A lunch loaded with lean meats, leafy greens, legumes, seeds, and nuts will give you the energy to last through the afternoon and into early evening.
Baked seafood or lean meat, along with a nice portion of steamed vegetables should make up the bulk of your dinner. Most of us relax after dinner, so a light meal is recommended for that reason.
6. Take Care Of Yourself
The first priority of your day should be your own needs. Treat your body and mind well – they will repay you through the day.
Try to meditate each day for at least ten minutes. This is a terrific way to relieve stress and improve your breathing. As you meditate you connect to your Self and can see that you are a part of a vast world that starts right in your own community.
Walk through that community, get to know those who teach classes to help you improve your mind or body. Ride your bike to work, or just exercise right in your own backyard. The trick is to get up and move.
Try creating your own vision board. A vision board is simply a poster you create with images of the things you like to do, want to do, and hope to do. You can include your ideal body shapes, and any other graphics that will help you visualize where you are heading.
7. Enroll In Group Classes
Set a goal to enroll and join three fitness group classes per week. Choose to be in the same class or three different and alternate classes. A dancing class is effective for weight loss, and you can choose to join a Zumba class, too. Kickboxing is a great way to jumpstart your weight loss. Other options are Pilates, lifting and step. You'll burn a thousand calories from just one session.
8. Stick With Those Who Will Support You
When you join an exercise class, or join up with runners from your own gym, you are engaging with like-minded people. As you share your goals you actually bond with these people. Together you give each other the boost you need to keep going.
Join online groups that share your desire to lose weight. This is a great way to get feedback from other people who have been there and done that. They will give you encouragement, as you encourage them in return.
Read as much as you can about the successes of others. See what really worked for them, and what did not. Are there exercise programs that you could learn? There is so much information available that can help you, and others, reach their goal safely and successfully.
9. Do not Skip Meals
Most people skip breakfast because they are so rushed in the morning. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you should always take the time to eat a well balanced meal.Always include a fiber and a protein in every meal. These will give your system the boost it needs to burn fat while you workout.
10. Forget About The Scale
Stepping onto a scale every day can be pretty self-defeating. If you are aiming for a pound or two a week, then you should realistically only step on the scale one morning a week. This way you will know if you lost anything from the previous week's numbers.
And Finally …
It really is possible to lose weight and keep if off forever. All you need to remember is to set realistic goals and follow a diet rich in the foods that will give you energy through the day. Put your own needs first and see that you pay homage to the shrine that is your own body. When you pay attention to yourself, your weight will stabilize and stay off for good.